A selection of favorites from the editors of Ordinary Times
It’s the first Monday in October. Burt Likko offers a preview of the high points of the Supreme Court’s docket, and some other interesting notes.
Precis: President Hassan Rouhani arrived back in Iran to a mixed reception: praise from most, but thrown shoes and eggs from some. President Rouhani has the blessing of the Supreme Leader Ali Khameini: the hardliners can do little to oppose either of them. Several Persian fables serve to make my point.
Will Truman has been tobacco-free for six weeks. But not nicotine-free. Exploring the implications of smoke-free smoking.
If you’ve been listening to cable news, talk radio or your local Republican Congressman talk about our current government shutdown, chances are that much or all of what you’ve heard is a lie. Here is a list of the ten biggest whoppers being floated today.
Libertarians largely agree that the Drug Wars needs to end. Their latest Internet folk hero, however, might make ending those Wars that much harder.
Ted Cruz is worried about sugar addiction. Or rather, that Obamacare is like sugar addiction. He uses the metaphor over and over. Why? His point is this: once Obamacare is passed, Americans will get used to the sugar of health care insurance exchanges and won’t want to give it up. So we must fight it…
Franzen argues that modernity has left Americans mired in distraction, and critics help prove his point.
In a world where we have trouble feeding the population we have, it may seem silly to worry about people not breeding enough. Jonathan Last makes the case that the western world needs to be worried about just that.
John C. Goodman in his book Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis argues that Obamacare will not make health care better or more affordable because it doubles down on the same genetic defects as before–the ill-conceived bundling of health care and health insurance. Reformers opposed to Obamacare will be unable to propose a real solution until they see the problem.
Sam Wilkinson looks at addiction, sobriety, and why being rational about either isn’t as easy as it first appears.
Since I published a snarky piece clowning Internet Commenters today, I decided that it might be worth offering a few serious thoughts about comments sections. I don’t want my only words on the subject to be flippant.
Cold and flu season is coming. Why is the FDA making the treatment potentially more dangerous than the illness?
Precis: In a crucial moment of opportunity, Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new president, extends the hand of diplomacy. President Obama’s team, surprised and gratified, grasp for Rouhani’s hand. If the handshake pans out, this rapprochement will be Obama’s greatest triumph. Rouhani is no saint but will operate in his own best interests.
The Chair of Citizens United teams up with conservative news sites to offer Republican senior citizens the right-wing version of the Nigerian prince scam.
An unemployed California surfer buys lobster with his SNAP card — wait, where have I heard this before?
Abusing its power as the custodian of internet traffic is going to cost the US. Why the US should learn the lessons of Pax Brittanica and work to restore the world’s trust as guarantor of data freedom.
Mike Dwyer wonders how much of what we view as racism is in fact a clash of cultures.
I recently wrote about how radical intellectuals are treated as ipso facto irresponsible or abhorrent in middlebrow American ideas magazines where little comprehension of their thought is even attempted. I was talking about the liberal-ish ones like the New Republic and the New York Review of Books. If we expanded that out to include conservative magazines;…
Moderates and independents keep waiting for national defeats to force the GOP to change their ways. Tod Kelly asks if the party might be happy to stay right where it is, electability be damned.
“We can’t get mothers to work more hours. We’ve tried, and failed, for forty years. Mothers won’t bite for a simple reason: if they work 55 hours a week, they will leave home at, say, 8:30 and return at 8:30 every day of the workweek, assuming an average commute time. Most moms have this one little hang-up: they want to see their children awake. Increasingly, many fathers do, too.”
A sensational, bizarre, made-for-tabloids crime forces Tod Kelly to reconsider his own position on abortion – and wonder if it might force others to do the same.
Michael Cain looks at smart electric grids and public policy. The first of a two-part series.
by New Dealer One of the stranger aspects of populism to me is the love/hate symbiotic relationship it has with allegedly elite institutions. I’ve seen this expressed in fandom/geek culture and I have seen this expressed in conservative cultural populism. The fandom aspects usually come from complaints about not getting science fiction and fantasy books…
Vikram brownsplains why people of color aren’t much for getting back to nature.
Adoption can be a painful process and a heart-breaking decision. That doesn’t mean it’s not the right one.